EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3167 - October 04, 2013     3 of 4

PayPal Tests Program That Vies with Amazon Prime

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How do retailers and marketplaces encourage buyers to return to their sites for future purchases? Marketing genius that it is, Amazon developed a membership program in which shoppers pay an annual fee in order to get free 2-day shipping, giving members a compelling reason to keep shopping on its marketplace. Retail chains' response to Amazon Prime came in the form of ShopRunner, which offers a similar 2-day free shipping membership program across its many major retail partners.

Up to now, eBay has been out of the game. But this week, eBay's payments unit PayPal announced the launch of a similar program with a small number of brands and retailers - and while there's no charge for consumers to take advantage of the 2-day shipping, it's a temporary offer. The only catch is that shoppers must use PayPal when purchasing on the participating retail sites.

How effective is Amazon Prime? A recent report from Cowen and Company showed that 97 percent of Prime customers visited in August 2013, with 83 percent making a purchase.

In a blog post, PayPal's Head of Merchant Communications Chris Morse said the offer applies to anyone who uses PayPal to make a purchase online at Levi's, Aeropostale, Sports Authority, Dockers, Dick's Sporting Goods, Kenneth Cole, iRobot, PBS and Maurices.

"There's no catch," Morse said. "Simply fill your cart and pay with PayPal at one of the merchants listed above and you'll receive free 2-day shipping. No hidden charges, and no minimum purchase required. We promise."

A PayPal spokesperson told EcommerceBytes, "This is a limited time offer and will run for a time period that varies by merchant." Terms apply, learn more on the offer page on

Update 10/4/13: A spokesperson for eBay reached out to add that the program is in collaboration with eBay Enterprise.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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